John Rutherford: Britain's fishermen are the heroes of the recovery of cod stocks

Share
Related Topics

Cod stocks in the North Sea are up. They have increased by 5 per cent over the past year and by 40 per cent over their average level for the period 2000-2008.

There is still some way to go before we can rely on the long-term viability of this species in the North Sea, but this new data suggests we have turned a corner. What's more, the news means that, for the first time in over a decade, scientists at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea are likely to recommend an increase in cod quotas to the European Union for 2010.

Better news still is the role being played by fishermen in the recovery of this iconic species. A variety of initiatives from the seafood industry have combined with new legislation to improve the situation for North Sea cod. For instance, fishermen in Scotland have voluntarily engaged with scientists to create real-time closures of fishing areas where spawning stocks of cod are known to exist. Bigger mesh sizes in nets have been introduced to allow juvenile fish to escape the nets, and fishermen have also reduced the amount of effort focused on catching cod.

In recent weeks, we have had the great news that the European Union intends to think again about its policy of discarding over-quota species caught in EU waters. For years, the seafood industry has campaigned alongside responsible NGOs to see the wasteful practice of discarding stopped. What is needed is a management regime which allows responsible fishing to continue, protecting jobs, skills and fishing communities, while also giving fish stocks support to recover to full biological sustainability.

It is high time that more was done to recognise the role played by British fishermen, who are the unsung heroes helping to protect fish stocks and, by extension, their own livelihoods. It is time people realised Britain has more fisheries certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council than any other nation on earth.

We are also the first country to instigate a nationwide Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) which now counts more than 44 per cent of the UK fleet by tonnage among its members. And more vessels are applying to join this scheme every week.



John Rutherford is chief executive of the seafood industry authority Seafish

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile App/IOS Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC)

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Mobile App/IOS...

Front End Developer-JavaScript, Angular J.S, HTML, CSS, ASP.NET

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front End Deve...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Only a game? Far from it

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi speaking at the Grand Mosque in Mosul  

The al-Baghdadi doctrine: leading British Muslims offer their response

Independent Voices
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil